Review: Taurus Raging Hunter .460 S&W

The Taurus Raging Hunter .460 S&W delivers plenty of style and enough power to take down any big-game animal in North America.

Review: Taurus Raging Hunter .460 S&W

Among the five stages of a hunter, identified in the landmark 1970s study at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, is one called the Method Hunter. It is the fourth of the five, and said to be the period when hunters are curious about trying something different to pursue their favorite game animal.

For example, after years of hunting with a compound bow a hunter might switch to a recurve. It’s a test of sorts, a rekindling of the curiosity of their early years afield.

For firearms hunters, big revolvers fall into this area of curiosity. After years of hunting with centerfire, rimfire and shotguns, they may seek a spark from the powerful wheelgun. Taurus has these seekers covered with its beefy Raging Hunter line of handguns. In early 2021 it added another caliber to the iconic line, the .460 S&W. This gun will put down any big game animal in North America. 

The .460 S&W joins the Raging Hunter line that includes the .44 Mag, .357/.38 Spl +P and the .454 Casull. From thin-skinned game such as feral pigs, pronghorn and whitetail deer to tougher fare including bear, moose, elk and buffalo, the Raging Hunter lineup can handle the task. Your customers will appreciate the ability to pursue anything that crawls or runs from Florida to Alaska or beyond. 

The Raging Hunter won the 2019 American Hunter Handgun of the Year Golden Bullseye Award, among other accolades. Customers don’t always look for gaudy trappings or blue ribbons, but a high compliment or two isn’t a bad thing. The best compliment, however, comes at the range and in the field when they shoot the Raging Hunter.

Solid Design, Lockup

The .460 S&W that I received for review drew a few reactions at the firearms center when we opened the box to check everything.

“Whoa, that’s a hogleg!” 

“Wow, that’s a big ol’ pistola! Are you hunting hogs with that?” 

Hogs are always on the agenda. White-tailed deer would be, if I’d had the Raging Hunter during my state’s deer season. Alas, it was spring and deer season was closed. The Raging Hunter will take down any North American game animal, though, so if your customers are interested in anything outside of the traditional autumn-winter seasons, they’ll be set. Given the spring and autumn bear seasons, summer alligator seasons and millions of feral pigs in the Southeast, Southwest, California and some other states, hunting opportunities are almost limitless.

 The Raging Hunter is stylishly designed. Mine has a two-tone matte stainless finish on the frame and barrel, and the barrel is fitted with a black anodized shroud. The five-round cylinder finish is matte black oxide. A solid matte-black finish also is available. A Picatinny rail is integrated into the shroud, which is factory ported near the muzzle. This helps with recoil management. Having shot big handguns with no porting, I’ll take the noise and management over the bigger booming wrist-flip experience. 

Sighting is done through the square notch rear and square front post, which is pinned into the shroud. The rear sight is adjustable for windage and elevation. A one-piece rubber cushioned grip has dimpled texturing and a comfortable feel. The textured hammer is generously sized, making cocking easy with and without gloves. The Raging Hunter’s transfer bar safety system is added protection, as is the dual lockup of the cylinder. The added security system at the front of the cylinder must be depressed along with the rear lock in order to open it. For ammunition pushing 66,000 psi, this dual system is a good thing. 

The trigger is neither great nor horrible. It’s what I’d call passable, serviceable, usable in the field. But it could use some polishing, which is to be expected on a big wheelgun. If you offer this gunsmithing service, suggest it to your customers. If not, suggest a qualified gunsmith. In either case, let your customers know why you’re suggesting some light trigger work and overall cleanup.

Accessories to Sell

Hunting with handguns, especially those of large caliber, is best done with supportive rests. Hunters can get by with open sights and bare hands, but I’d argue that use of shooting sticks, bags in a shooting house window or some other support for the gun will help ensure better success.

Big handguns are beefy. Those like the Raging Hunter weigh enough that even a two-handed grip likely won’t be rock steady. My pistol weighs 4 pounds, 1.5 ounces without ammunition or an optic. Five rounds of Federal Premium 460 S&W with 275-grain Barnes Expander bullets add 5.4 ounces. Hornady 460 S&W Mag with 200-grain FTX bullets also tally 5.4 ounces. So, you’re at 4 pounds, 6.9 ounces with open sights.

Add an optic, along with the adrenaline of a hunting situation and knowledge of the recoil, and being Steady Eddie with a non-supported grip isn’t going to happen. Unless your customers are well practiced with these big boomers, don’t let their ego overpower their smarts. Urge the use of supportive rests — shooting sticks, beanbags for the range and shooting house windows, a Lead Sled for the range — and have some ready to show them. If you have a shooting range, let them try with and without. You’ll likely make an easy sale. 

Hearing and eye protection should be another easy sell. Despite a ported barrel that assists with recoil management, the noise of the .460 easily tips more than 100 decibels. That enters the critical ranges for hearing damage, and percussive damage is cumulative. Offer a selection of ear plugs, muffs and eye protection. 

For holsters, I’d recommend the Galco Switchback strongside crossdraw belt holster. It’s designed for 5- or 6-shot extra-large-frame double-action revolvers with 6- to 6.5-inch barrels. It has sturdy nylon-leather construction and will hold up well. Another to suggest is the Diamond D Guide’s Choice leather shoulder rig. It’s well-designed and crafted, has been tested in the wilds of Alaska and easily should handle whatever your customers throw at it. 

Gloves are another viable add-on, offering protection against thorns and cactus, weather conditions and more. With big-bore handguns, good leather gloves also help shooters get a better grip. I’ve shot with and without, and prefer using them to keep my sweaty palms, especially in humid summer conditions, on the gun’s grip. Mechanix gloves are popular and come in several options including padded, unpadded and more. Magpul Patrol Gloves 2.0 are another good option, with a leather palm and thumb panel, flexible knuckles and padding.


We all know the issues with ammunition in the last 18 months or so. It’s unlikely things will break loose or “return to normal,” as some say or dream, but so be it. Nothing can be done other than to keep moving forward and helping customers as best as you can.

In searching for ammunition to use with the Raging Hunter, I hit the usual online sites and my local big chain store. The latter was a complete waste of time as their shelves were barren. The online sites had the usual notices: “Sold Out” and “Not in Stock.” While I figured the most popular calibers — 9mm, .22, .223, .308, other hunting calibers — would be scarce, not finding ammunition in .460 or even cowboy loads was surprising. Anything and everything has been scarfed. 

I finally found some .460 S&W on the Federal website and immediately bought it, at a head-slapping $80 a box. Two months later it had increased by almost $10. Your customers may have the same reaction. However, if they are interested enough to buy the Taurus Raging Hunter they probably won’t flinch at the cost of ammo. If you can order it, be sure to clearly spell out shipping time and final costs. You don’t want them calling four days later asking about it. Providing more details always is helpful.


The Experience

I’ve hunted more than 40 years and can honestly say that outside of a few media events for Thompson-Center, Freedom Arms and Smith & Wesson, I’ve never run across anyone at a camp or on public land who was hunting with a handgun. However, I know there is a small, dedicated and diehard group of handgun hunters who love the niche and challenge. 

To me, that’s the fun aspect: the challenge. Once in south Alabama I had six feral pigs walking toward me in a line. I guess they thought I was a tree or fat corn stalk. Instead of waiting and shooting the last one, I made the mistake of shooting at the first one. They all charged toward me. Fortunately, none hit me. I missed the pig, too, but had a memorable experience. 

Your customers are going to be seeking memorable experiences. Whether they are in that fourth stage of the lifecycle of a hunter or are new, younger and wanting to do something different, be ready with good suggestions for handguns and accessories.


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